Where to begin? Well, this past weekend was Indoor Christian Nationals, but this story starts way before that. I was hoping to open up my final indoor track season on Friday January 20th at Lewis University, but I ended up getting a sinus infection and bronchitis about 10 days before the opener. I had to take a few days off, and coach decided not to race me. I was pretty upset about that decision at the time, but I know it was probably a good choice! As much as I thought I was still ready to race, I probably would have done more damage than good by running that meet.
I opened up my indoor season a week later at Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday January 28th. I had been home on Christmas break for the past 40 days, and had not seen my teammates or coaches the whole break. Coach had let me decide what I wanted to run, so I told him 400m and 3000m. I didn’t think he was going to let me run the 400m, because “I’m not a 400 runner” is what I’ve been told, but for some reason he said yes. First race on the track since May! I ended up running 51.99 and placing 6th in my first open 400m indoor. Not a bad start to the season! The about 90 minutes later I got to come back in the 3000m. Finished 5th overall running 9:04.7 to tie my PR in the indoor 3000m. Definitely a successful first meet. Also, qualified for Christian Nationals (NCCAA’s) in both events.
The next weekend we were at Illinois College in Jacksonville. I would normally run the mile and 800m at this meet, but this year we decided to switch things up once again and go with the 800m & 4x400m relay. After a long day of waiting, it was finally go time! Ran 1:57.9 to win the 800, but I wasn’t too thrilled with the time. Solid first 800m of the season though. In the 4x400 I split a :50.6 so once again, another solid race. Qualified for NCCAA’s in the 800!
The next weekend we went north to Monmouth College. I have always loved the Fighting Scots Invitational, because I had won the 800m the previous 2 years, and I have run 2 of my 3 fastest indoor 800s on their track. This year I decided to keep switching things up and run the mile at Monmouth. Our school record was 4:21.6 set by Beau Meredith, and I had had my eyes on that record after running 4:23 as a sophomore. I felt good going into the race, but was anxious from all the waiting. I wanted to run 32.5 per lap to run 4:20. I went out and put myself in the front pack. From there it was just a waiting game. I kept popping off the 32.5s like I wanted to. I ended up running 4:18.58 and getting 2nd. A new school record, a 5 second pr, and the fastest mile I have run in the past year by 11 seconds. Happy day! I also ran a decent 51.4 split on our 4x400m relay. Qualified for NCCAA’s in the mile! So now I have qualified in the 400m, 800m, mile, & 3000m.
So this now brings us to NCCAA’s. Coach and I decided to run me in the Mile & 3000m. Was it a smart choice? Well, being an 800m runner….maybe lol. Nothing is ever easy at Christian Nats. My day started off with a 7th place 4:23.09 mile. Normally I think I would have been happy with that…but not that day! I had hoped of running under 4:15, but I guess that was not in the plans that day. A little too aggressive on the start and poor race execution turned what could have been a great mile, into a so-so mile. I still can’t be mad about it, considering it is the 2nd fastest indoor mile I have ever run. 2 hours later I hopped on the struggle bus, for the 3000m. I ran 9:24 for 16th place and definitely was not okay with that. I was fine for about 2k, but the last 1k was just awful.
I was pretty upset with myself for my races on Saturday at NCCAA’s but now that I have had some time to think about it (and a nice outdoor bike ride on Sunday), I’m ready to move on! How can I be mad when it was my 2nd fastest indoor mile ever, and it really wasn’t even bad for an “off” day. If that’s as “bad” as I run this year, then it’s going to be a good year J . Also, I should have just been thankful to make it to NCCAA’s healthy this year. I have been lucky to be pretty much injury free for quite a bit of time, and every day that I can run really is a gift. All though I may be disappointed with my finishing times and place, I know I gave my best for what I could that day—and that’s all I could do! Now it is time to move on and get ready for indoor last chance meets, and maybe a shot at D3 nationals. Happy Monday everybody!